Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has a “pretty obvious” solution for addressing gun-related violence, but “nobody wants to go there.”
Ballard believes that if we upped the mandatory minimum sentence for gun crimes society would drastically reduce gun violence.
The mayor told News 8 that based on the city’s tracking of cases, “homicides in 2014 would have been dramatically less, dramatically less,” because many of those arrested had previous arrests for gun crimes.
Ballard would like to see the mandatory minimum raised to 20 years, but said that even 10 years would make a significant difference in the number of homicides year to year.
In addition to strengthening penalties for gun crimes, Ballard said that youth intervention programs can also make a difference.
“You’re not going to turn the tide unless we start at an earlier age — to make sure these young men and women don’t go down the wrong path,” he said.
Given that it would take time, 15 or 20 years, to see the results of such programs, Ballard said that we need to do a better job “of differentiating between people who need help and a hand up — and the people who are truly violent and need to go away for a long, long time.”